Best Phone Carrier for the iPhone

  • Best Value Plan + iPhone

    3 Month Plan (Medium)

    $51.21/mo. for iPhone 11 and 8 GB of data
  • Best Unlimited + iPhone

    $40 Unlimited Plan

    $71.00/mo. for unlimited data and an iPhone 11
  • Cheapest Unlimited Plan

    Unlimited Kickstart Plan

    $35.00/mo. for unlimited data
  • Best Network

    Verizon Network

    Covers 70% of the country with 4G coverage

Pretty much every carrier you can think of is compatible with the latest iPhones. In fact, name some wireless provider you know, and I’ll bet you exactly zero dollars that it supports the iPhone. Go ahead. Did you guess Mint Mobile, Visible, Verizon, and Sprint? Good job because those are four of the best carriers for an iPhone.

We looked at iPhone 11 (128 GB) phone plans from every provider to gauge the best phone carriers for the iPhone. But even if you’re still rocking the iPhone 8 and want to carry it over to a new cell phone plan, these carriers still offer the most bang for your buck. Here’s what the research showed for best iPhone providers:

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New phone deals are dropping all the time, and you can check out our deals page that we update every week.
CarrierPlanPrice*DataLearn more
Mint Mobile3 Month Plan (Medium)$51.21/mo.8 GB of dataView Plan
Visible Wireless $40 Unlimited Plan$71.00/mo.UnlimitedView Plan
VerizonStart Unlimited Plan$101.24/mo.UnlimitedView Plan
SprintUnlimited Kickstart Plan$35.00/mo. plus $749.99 up frontUnlimitedView Plan

* For unlimited talk, unlimited text, monthly data allotment, and 24-month payment plan for iPhone 11 (128 GB)

Mint Mobile: Best value plan + phone combination

Brand new iPhone 11 and 8 GB of data for $51.21/mo.

Pros

  • Affordable plan that includes phone and data

Cons

  • Non-unlimited data plan

What we like

We compared every major cell phone provider and somehow, the underdog Mint Mobile managed to come out on top as the best value carrier for the iPhone. Mint Mobile is an up-and-coming mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that uses T-Mobile’s network and just so happens to offer an awesome deal that gets you a brand new iPhone 11 (128 GB) and 8 GB of data every month for just over $50 a month. You’ll have the phone paid off after two years of service.

To put that into perspective, the next best carrier is Ultra Mobile, which costs $59.21 a month and only gives you 6 GB of data every month. So in summary, Mint Mobile gives you more data for a cheaper price compared to the competition along with a brand new iPhone 11. Good job, Ryan Reynolds! (He owns Mint Mobile, randomly).

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You can always get a cheaper iPhone and lower your monthly bill
Generally speaking, the cheaper the phone you get, the less it will cost you every month to pay it off. For example, if you wanted the same Mint Mobile data plan with the new iPhone SE, your monthly payment would go down to $43.71.

What we don’t like

Mint Mobile doesn’t offer an unlimited data plan currently, so this plan only makes sense for folks who won’t regularly drain data. So if you’re reading this article using your cellular data on your iPhone and you plan on streaming a YouTube video afterwards, you might have a hard time committing to 8 GB a month. You’re not alone, friend.

You can always upgrade your plan and double your monthly data to 16 GB with Mint Mobile if you’re willing to pay an extra $5 a month.

Visible Wireless: Best unlimited+phone combination

New iPhone 11 (128 GB) with unlimited data for $71/mo.

Pros

  • Unlimited data
  • Operates on Verizon's network

Cons

  • Deprioritization

What we like

Your absolute best value option for an unlimited data plan that also nets you a brand new iPhone is Visible Wireless. Visible is kind of like the secret menu at In-N-Out–it’s one of the best things you can order and nobody really knows about it. Like Mint Mobile, Visible is an MVNO, except it just so happens to operate on Verizon’s best-in-class coverage.

All in all, you can get unlimited data, a brand new iPhone 11 (or any other iPhone), get access to Verizon’s awesome network, and it will all cost you a maximum of $71 a month. Remember, you can always lower your bill by opting for a cheaper iPhone. For example, if you wanted to go with the iPhone SE instead of the iPhone 11, you would bring your monthly bill down to $56 a month.

What we don’t like

The catch with MVNO cell phone providers is a little thing called deprioritization. Verizon’s network will give priority to its own customers in terms of its signal coverage. Usually, there’s plenty of coverage to go around for everybody, both Verizon users and Visible users alike, but if you’re in a really crowded area (a theme park, the mall, a baseball game, etc.), you may notice a sudden drop in your bars. That can happen because Verizon users in the area suck up most of the 4G or 5G juice, and you’re left with the scraps.

Verizon: Best network for iPhones

Verizon has the most reliable network coverage for iPhones

Pros

  • Most reliable network in the country

Cons

  • Pricier

What we like

If your top priority with your new iPhone is to get the best coverage money can buy, then Verizon is your carrier of choice. As it stands right now, these are the rankings for best wireless coverage in the country.1

  • Verizon: 70% 4G cell phone coverage
  • AT&T: 68% 4G cell phone coverage
  • T-Mobile: 62% 4G cell phone coverage
  • Sprint: 30% 4G cell phone coverage

Verizon takes first place amongst the networks, especially standing out when it comes to offering rural coverage. Check out the Verizon coverage map below to get an idea of how wide a net Verizon’s network covers.

What we don’t like

Sadly, all that awesome coverage comes at a literal price. While Verizon has the best network, it also generally has the most expensive prices. The Start Unlimited plan, for example, costs $101.24 a month for unlimited data and a new iPhone 11. Our old friends Visible Wireless offer the same package for $71 a month. The only difference is that your Verizon iPhone’s speeds and coverage won’t get throttled and deprioritized.

You can always bring your monthly bill down considerably by going with a less robust iPhone model. If you chose the iPhone SE (128 GB) instead of the iPhone 11 (128 GB), your Verizon bill drops by about $13 a month.

Sprint: Cheapest unlimited plan for iPhones

Get a Sprint unlimited plan for $35 a month

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap unlimited data from a major provider

Cons

  • Have to pay upfront for a new iPhone
  • Weaker coverage

What we like

The Sprint Unlimited Kickstart plan is easily the cheapest unlimited data plan you’ll find from a major wireless provider. Take a look to see how Sprint’s $35 a month unlimited plan compares to the basic unlimited plans of the other big three wireless providers.

Sprint’s Unlimited Kickstart is a whole $25 cheaper a month compared to the next cheapest unlimited plan. Don’t even get me started on comparing Sprint’s pricing to Verizon’s pricing ($70 a month for a basic unlimited plan is a lot).

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Who knows how long the Unlimited Kickstart plan will last
Around this time last year, the Unlimited Kickstart plan cost $25 a month instead of the current $35. It’s possible that the price could go up even more, or the plan could disappear altogether. The good news is that your rate will not go up if you sign up now–you’ll be grandfathered into future unlimited plans with the same rate.

What we don’t like

The monthly rate for Sprint’s unlimited plan is absolutely bonkers, but there’s a few hoops you need to jump through to make it all work. First of all, you’ll need to bring your own iPhone into the equation. In other words, you’ll need to either transfer your current iPhone, or if you want to upgrade, you’ll need to buy an iPhone 11 outright.

Sprint’s biggest weakness has to be its weak coverage. Currently, Sprint ranks dead last among the four major wireless networks.1

  • Verizon: 70% 4G cell phone coverage
  • AT&T: 68% 4G cell phone coverage
  • T-Mobile: 62% 4G cell phone coverage
  • Sprint: 30% 4G cell phone coverage

It’s really not even close, it’s like a 100-meter dash and Sprint crosses the finish line after the winner has already received their medal. You definitely should check out the coverage map below and make sure your area looks covered. You can get away with Sprint’s coverage as long as you live in an area that is heavily supported, most likely in bigger cities and neighborhoods.

Recap: What are the best carriers for iPhone?

Basically every wireless carrier supports the iPhone, but very few carriers will actually give you a good deal. The providers we highlight here will give you value whether you go with a brand new iPhone 11, or you go with an older iPhone mode.

What are the best carriers for the iPhone?

  • Best value plan + phone: The best bang for your buck you can get for a new iPhone and a decent data plan is with Mint Mobile. You can get a brand new iPhone 11 and 8 GB of data for a little over $50 a month.
  • Best unlimited plan + phone: If you want unlimited data for your iPhone, your best overall option is the $40 Unlimited Plan with Visible. It’s one of the cheapest unlimited plans available that also offers strong coverage.
  • Best network: Verizon offers the best network for iPhones. It covers 70% of the country with 4G coverage and is your best bet to get bars on your iPhone in rural areas.
  • Cheapest unlimited plan: Currently, the cheapest iPhone unlimited plan you can find is Sprint’s Unlimited Kickstart plan. Your unlimited data bill will cost you $35 a month, but you’ll need to either bring your old iPhone over or buy a new iPhone outright.

As it stands in 2020, Mint Mobile, Visible Wireless, Verizon, and Sprint are your best carriers for iPhone. Let us know what option you ended up going with and how your experience has gone in the comments below.

Your iPhone depends on a reliable internet connection

If your wireless cell phone coverage feels spotty at home, improving your Wi-Fi will make a world of difference. This is especially true if you have multiple cell phone users under the same roof. Check out our top internet recommendations for a reliable Wi-Fi connection while you’re using your iPhone at home.

5 Best home internet options
ProviderMonthly priceDownload speedsData capLearn more
Xfinity Internet$24.99$299.95*152000 Mbps1 TBUnlimitedView Plans
CenturyLink Internet$49$6515940 Mbps1 TBView Plans
AT&T Fiber$49.99$50100940 Mbps1 TBUnlimitedView Plans
Viasat Internet$30$150^12100 Mbps12150 GBView Plans
Verizon Fios$39.99$79.99°200940 MbpsNot AvailableView Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
^ For the first 3 months.
° w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.